Arguably, the best 3-year-old race in Europe this Sunday is being run in Madrid. The Premio Chacal looks to be a very competitive contest despite the small field and could provide some decent clues for the Spanish classics later in the season. If you’re new to Spanish racing, it is fair to say that it is a smaller pool than those of France, Britain and Ireland, but the standard of racing has definitely improved in recent times, with horses like Noozhoh Canarias helping to put Spain back on the racing map. La Zarzuela in Madrid is the premier racecourse in Spain and the left-handed oval track is generally pretty fair, especially in a small field like this. There has been some rainfall in Madrid this week, so it is fair to expect the meeting to be run on ground softer than you may expect to find in Spain, though most of the field do have form on softer ground too. I have included some links at the bottom of this blog which have helped me to study the form if you’d like to learn more.
Free Eagle x Dalmatia (Cape Cross)
T: Jorge Antonio Rodriguez
J: Vaclav Janacek
Form Figures: 54221-
A winner over the trip in November, he has been given a break for his 3-year-old campaign, but looks to be bred to improve in his Classic year, especially once he goes up in trip. His dam won twice over hurdles for Edward Harty and stayed 12-furlongs on the flat, whilst his Sire got better with age and peaked as a 4-year-old. His victory here in November was in a race ideally setup for him, with a strong pace to track, he loomed alongside the leaders at the 2-furlong pole and galloped to the front under the minimum of urgings from his rider, going on to record a 1-length victory over As A Charm, with Zeus Canarias only 4th. Vaclav Janacek is one of the leading riders in Spain, riding a double here last week and White King would look to have a solid chance.
Triple Threat x Super Anna (Anabaa)
T: CH Delcher
J: Julia Zambudio
Form Figures: 51211-
Super Trip won a Clairefontaine claimer last summer, but has really excelled since switching to Spain, winning 2 of her 3 starts in Madrid, including the €24,000 Gran Criterium in October, when she had White King behind her in 2nd. The ground was soft that day, but she travelled nicely behind the pace, taking up the running with 300-metres to run and kept on through the line, though it should be noted that White King missed the break by almost 7-lengths and he made up significant ground in the closing stages, so it is not a full gone conclusion that the form will be upheld. Julia Zambudio is good value for her claim and having ridden a treble here on 13th March, she arrives in great form.
Panis x Acroleine (Indian Rocket)
T: Alvaro Soto
J: J.L. Martinez
Form Figures: 221-1
Glorytof is a French bred colt, who broke his maiden tag at the 2rd time of asking over 7-furlongs here in October. He has had the benefit of a run, winning a €6000 contest at Dos Hermanas in February, when he was all out to hold off Zeus Canarias in a close finish. The step up to 10-furlongs isn’t guaranteed to suit and he isn’t guaranteed to uphold the form from last month, let alone challenge the principles. It would be a surprise if Glorytof was capable of winning at this level.
Noozhoh Canarias x Lize Theron (Dragon Pulse)
T: Patrik Olive
J: Borja Fayos
Form Figures: 7234842-12
Probably the best horse to come out of Spain in the past 20 years, Noozhoh Canarias is making a decent job of being a Stallion. Zeus Canarias was 0-7 as a Juvenile, but he did get his head in front when winning at Dos Hermanas in January and was possibly slightly unlucky not to get the better of Glorytof last time out. Although his breeding might suggest that he isn’t guaranteed to stay the trip, he finished very strongly over 9-furlongs last time out and is race fit. However, he was well beaten by White King and Super Trip in the autumn na has work to do on that form.
Camelot x Young Daddy Miller (Azamour)
T: Diego Hernan Benitez
J: Luis Fonseca
The only debutante in the field, this son of Camelot is from the family of Miss You Too (David Simcock) and although his dam was unraced, the grand-dam (Portrait of a Lady) did win 3 times for Sir Henry Cecil and reached a rating of 93 in 2004. He is bred to stay well and has a reasonable pedigree and it is interesting to see him pitched in at this level on debut, but the percentage call is to oppose him at this stage.
In a small field, there is a good chance that this is going to be a relatively tactical affair and that could play into the hands of the 2 fillies who both have form over shorter trips, but it is still hard to get away from WHITE KING. This striking grey absolutely hosed up on his last start in November and if he hadn’t blown the start the time before, he might have won the Gran Criterium in October too. He looks the least complicated horse in the lineup and Vaclav Janacek will hopefully keep things simple by riding him like the best horse in the race. He could be one of the leading 3-year-olds in Spain this year and he will hopefully show his talents on Sunday.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe to my free email updates on the home page.